He adamantly denies the claims...
Jason Gregory

08:38 29th July 2008

Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has adamantly denied recent reports that have claimed he is racist.

In an appearance on BBC television, Lydon accused the press of running wild “with absolutely atrocious, really, really hurtful stories.”

He also threatened legal action against media organisations that had made the claim.

His comments follow Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke’s allegation that he had been the victim of an “unprovoked racial attack” by a group of individuals associated to Lydon.

Summercase ‘Fall Out’

The incident, which is said to have taken place at the Summercase Festival in Spain earlier this month, was widely circulated by the press.

Okereke said he was left with facial injuries, including severe bruising, following a scuffle which began after he asked Lydon if he would consider reforming his former band, Public Image Ltd.

Speaking to the BBC’s One Show about racial attitudes, Lydon said: “My grand children are Jamaican right.

“This is an absolute offence to them and me when I read stories like that, that are allowed to go to print absolutely unfounded and have the liberty to take liberties with a man like me and call me a racist when my entire life has proved exactly the opposite."

When asked if he was a racist, Lydon replied: “Absolutely not. And any bugger that dares say so is going to have their day in court with me – you understand this?”

Sex Pistols Audiences

During his interview, Lydon also reaffirmed comments made in his initial response to Okereke’s allegations that stressed the Sex Pistols’ multi-racial appeal.

“It’s the most wonderful thing ever, playing to our multi-racial audiences, which they always have been,” he said.

“And not only that, multi-gender, multi-everything-you-like, we are open to all. Our whole message in life has been to eliminate the barriers that separate us.”

He added that the Sex Pistols “only true enemy in life is governments”.

“And politicians, and, low and behold, the British press,” he added.

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